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Leicester Comedy Festival & The UK Kids' Comedy Festival work with hundreds of venues and promoters every year. Each of them play a vital role in the running and promotion of the festivals and work tirelessly to ensure that audiences are treated to some of the best comedy in the world.

Planning for & running live shows

As a venue you may be booking your own programme, or you may have a promoter doing it on your behalf. Either way, you need to make sure you understand the two roles and what is expected from you. The following information is on the basis of a venue working with an external promoter. 

Here are some things to think about:

  • The turnaround in-between shows – is there enough time to get the audience out before the next show, to clear the space, to tidy up the chairs, clear away used glasses etc.

  • As a venue, when planning your festival programme, it’s important that any potential programme disruptions are avoided from the outset – this could include screenings of major sporting events at your venue or private venue hires and regular bookings.

  • If you have enough staff to run the number of shows you have programmed – if you’re new to the festival make sure you don’t underestimate the amount of work involved for you and your staff. If you think you might need some voluntary support, you can contact - we can't guarantee that we can find volunteers for you but it's worth asking.

  • The ‘after-work’ crowd/early evening shows – this is an increasing festival audience; make sure you take them into account when deciding on show start times.

  • Late night shows – around 1/3 of Festival shows finished after 10pm last year. There is definitely an audience for these shows so don’t be too cautious!

Once you have your dates and times worked out for the festival programme you should agree these with your promoter in writing and share them with any key venue contacts. You and the promoter can now confidently book in shows knowing that the venue and its staff will be expecting them in February.

Once you have the programme in place you’ll need to submit all the shows and pay the festival fees. More on that here.  

As a participating venue you need to make sure all your staff know about upcoming shows. Audiences, for example, may pop-in on a weekday lunchtime to ask about a Saturday night show and its important your staff know what to tell them - or at the very least can tell them how else to find out the information they’re looking for.

For promoters - including venues who are booking their own shows!

Promoters play a variety of roles within the festival to suit the needs of their acts, venues and the audiences. As a promoter your venues and acts will expect certain things of you so it’s important that the detail of your role is agreed and understood from the outset. In some instances a promoter may simply act as a booking agent, in others, the promoter will; book the acts, liaise with them and the venue in the run up to the festival, put posters up around the city and then be there on the night to collect the money on the door.

Here are a few things we expect from you, but do draw up your own agreement with venues and acts so everyone involved knows where responsibilities lie:

  1. You will need to ensure your venue has registered with the festival before the deadline. The venue deadline is normally communicated in the spring and summer. 

  2. You will need to make your ‘deal’ clear to any acts you book and ensure you’re both clear on what the tech requirements are for the show, who is proving tech for the show, show promotion, festival fees and ticket settlements. 

  3. You will need to make sure all shows are submitted & fees paid before the show registration deadline. The show registration deadline is usually shared in the summer.

  4. You will be the key venue contact. The festival team will contact you to answer key questions and queries.

  5. You will have access to ticket reports and it is up to you to share this information with your acts. You can arrange to have weekly reports sent to you and our Box Office can help you set this up. 

  6. Tell people about your show(s)! You are after all a promoter.

Online shows

In 2021, due to the national lockdown, we went digital! In 2022, our programme was a hybrid of live and digital events. We hope that the progress we made with online shows and digital content will carry on into the future, so please consider streaming your shows or programming online events. 

In 2021 we started working with NextUp Comedy who livestream and distribute some of the best live comedy in the world. They are the official streaming platform for the festival. in 2023 they streamed 18 shows. Any shows that they want to stream will be agreed in advance. 

The UK Kid's Comedy Festival 2023
Venues & Promoters Best Practice Guide

This guide is designed to ensure that The UK Kids’ Comedy festival is as enjoyable, safe, and stress-free as possible. We are aware that many of our venues don’t often run events for children at their venues, but still wish to be part of the festival. Contained within this guide is best practice information for our venues and promoters to make sure they can help the festival run as smoothly as possible. We trust that you will handle the information contained within this guide with care and seriousness.


Venue & Ticketing – things to consider
  • Ticket pricing: Is there a lower age in which children go free? Does the ticket include babes in arms?

  • Do you expect prams and buggies? Is your venue accessible to prams and buggies? You might need to create a designated parking area to make sure fire exit routes aren’t blocked during the event.

  • Do you have baby changing facilities? Do you need them?

  • Does your venue have a safe and private space for children with anxiety, breastfeeding mothers, etc?


  • All children MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult for all shows at The UK Kids’ Comedy festival. Do not allow parents/carers to drop off children at shows and then leave[1]. Parents/carers must purchase a ticket for themselves unless otherwise agreed, this is clearly signposted in our brochure and box office.

  • Does your risk assessment cover children? Things like trip hazards, lighting, electrical equipment can pose an increased risk to children than adults.

  • What is your lost child procedure? Are your staff trained in the proper handling of these scenarios?

    • Venue staff should never be alone with a child. If approached by a lost child, staff should pair up as soon as possible.


Photography Policy

In every case, when taking photos at The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival events, photographers should look to capture backs of heads, wider group shots, and shots that do not identify individual children. However, we know there are situations where children will be captured. For this, we recommend introducing a photography policy which allows parents/carers to refuse to have their child photographed. There are many reasons why a parent/carer might refuse to have their children photographed, and you should always do your best as a venue to honour that refusal. Here is what we suggest:

  • Getting parents to sign a photography permission slip upon entry. If they refuse, making photographers aware of the child who shouldn’t be photographed. For larger events, providing a sticker which identifies the children as not to be photographed.

  • Clearly signposting if there is photography taking place. Something which informs the audience that they have the right of refusal. Directing them to speak to a member of venue staff to request for their child not to be photographed.

We also recommend that when publishing photographs (on social media or otherwise) no other identifying information is given without express permission. Please also be ready to remove photos from online material if requested.

Please feel free to reach out to the UK Kids' Comedy Festival Producer Chris; if you have any queries or worries about hosting your UK Kids’ Comedy Festival event. We want to help you run your event as smoothly as possible!


[1] This may not apply to events that are workshops ran by properly trained and certified individuals. If you are unsure check with

If you have any questions related to the booking of your programme please get in touch. We’re here to help!

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